Houses selling much faster than flats according to Zoopla data

Figures from Zoopla quantify how Coronavirus is changing the market, with houses selling significantly faster than flats.

The latest market report from the portal states: “Quarantine has galvanised many homeowners and renters into reconsidering their housing requirements, resulting in demand for more space and changing work and commuting patterns.”

It says three-bedroom houses remain the fastest selling property on the market, with an average time of 24 days since the lockdown lifted.

However, this property type also exemplifies the supply/demand imbalance – while three bed houses are the most in-demand property type, the proportion of available supply falls short of demand across all parts of the UK.

Zoopla also reports that four and five-bed houses are selling 33 per cent faster than in 2019, as buyers prioritise more space and widen their search criteria – migrating away from the more expensive cities, suburbs and commuter belts while enabling their budgets to stretch further. 

Meanwhile, flats are taking the longest time to sell at an average 32 days – although this still remains relatively quick, because of the frenzy of activity in the market.

In Zoopla’s latest monthly snapshot, demand continues to run ahead of supply, sustaining annual house price growth at 2.5 per cent.

Time to sell since the market reopened has decreased by 31 per cent across the UK, averaging just 27 days in the period since lockdown, compared to 39 days over the same period in 2019.

More homes are coming to market in wealthier demographics post lockdown with wealthier sellers less likely to be affected by recession.

However, while the market sets new highs, buyer interest has softened 17 per cent over past month, as the holiday season distracts purchasers. Even so, demand remains 78 per cent above last year.

Zoopla anticipates that market conditions are expected to remain stronger than last year for the rest of 2020 with house prices up between two and three percentage points by Christmas.

“The next important milestone for the housing market comes in September when schools reopen and the UK starts to get back towards a full reopening of the economy” explains Richard Donnell, Zoopla’s research and insight director. 

“The ‘once in a lifetime’ re-evaluation of housing requirements on the back of the lockdown will be a counterweight to the impact of the recession on housing market activity over the rest of 2020. While demand has softened over August, we expect the current momentum in market activity to continue into 2020 Q4” he adds.